Kent State to change job titles this fall

Tyrel Linkhorn

Come September, Kent State’s classified job structure will be updated to keep pace with constantly changing technology and job duties, university officials said.

The university’s division of Human Resources is conducting the Jobs for the 21st Century Workplace survey, which is to deal only with Kent State’s hourly-paid employees, who are not covered under a union contract. There are about 850 of these employees.

“The workplace is changing constantly, and we need to keep up,” said Carolyn Pizzuto, Human Resources vice president.

One example of the changing workplace is that out of 200 job titles Kent State has for classified employees, only about 140 are filled.

Pizzuto said job structures are typically reviewed every half-decade or so; however, the last time Kent State set its job titles was 15 years ago. This project will help to “bring jobs current,” she said.

In order for the university to reclassify jobs, it needs to better know what people are doing under their current job titles.

Compensation Manager Fred Martone is conducting approximately 50 sessions with employees to identify what work they do.

To do this, the university is using a work profiling company called SHL.

SHL gathers employees with identical or similar job titles and uses a Scantron-type survey for them to input duties they perform, how much time they spend doing those duties and the importance they place upon each aspect of their job.

Ultimately, the goal of this process is to see the commonalties and differences in job titles, Martone said.

“We are trying to get a feel for how work is actually done.”

He said the university chose SHL because it is “a validated process and has been in use in several countries around the world.”

The end result of this study will result in broader job definitions, fewer titles and more cross-over duties in some titles, Pizzuto said.

Also, the study will help “tie together what we ask them (employees) to do, their review on how well they do it and their training,” Pizzuto said.

The new structure is to be set by Sept. 1.

Contact news correspondent Tyrel Linkhorn at [email protected].